Gamification of Red Teaming


Whatever you may think of all the developments we see in the world around us, one thing now tops the list of certainties by far: the level of uncertainty has gone up, big time…

All the experts told that Poetin would not dare to take over the Crimea. All the experts told that Brexit would not happen. All the experts predicted Clinton would win. They were wrong. But, in all fairness, and in their defense, the actual results were part of their list of possibilities. It is not that we didn’t see it coming. We did. That’s not the question. The question is: how many thought through the various possibilities and now know what to do? I guess far less than would make us feel comfortable. The proof is around me right now. I see everybody, and I mean everybody, with this big question in their eyes: how could this happen? Closely followed by the second question: what now!? Either they don’t know, shaking their heads, or their pessimism has taken another turn for the worst.

It doesn’t need to be this way. It doesn’t need to stay this way. What is needed is critical thinking, which feels like a wide open door and yet is not trivial. How do you get into a true critical thinking mode? That is not a trivial question. The answer is simple: gamification of Red Teaming!

The best critical thinking methods are more popularly known as Red Teaming. You place yourself in the position of the opposition (the red team) and try to look at the situation from their perspective. What would I do if I were them? What could they do, etc…

There is one downside to this. The methods described in the latest Red Teaming handbook come down to brainstorming sessions in one shape or another. These leave to much room for “correctness” and avoiding the really hard nuts. To get there you need to trigger people’s desire to win. That is what games do.

So the answer as already given above is simple: gamification of Red Teaming.

This is where strategy games come into play, like the FSEG by Changing Games. These strategy training games can be tweaked to any other scenario and thus strategic question at hand.

Jan-Willem Boots is Co-Founder at Changing Games and designer of the Full Strategy Experience Game (FSEG).

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